Search engine optimization has always been a complex topic for marketing professionals.
Popular engines like Google haven’t always been forthcoming about how their algorithms work.
And even when they are, the criteria for high rankings seem to change constantly.
As search engines increase their focus on creating a quality experience for the end-user, a few tried-and-true best practices have emerged as necessary components of your SEO to-do list.
The following content will teach you what you need to know to create a successful SEO campaign.
1. There’s More Than One Type of SEO
Search engine optimization can take two forms: technical SEO and content SEO. While both are necessary, they require two different mindsets.
Technical SEO ensures that search engine crawl bots find what they are looking for when visiting your site. When they arrive, they should see the following:
- Functioning Core Web Vitals, such as page load speed and visual stability
- Straightforward site navigation and structure
- Accurate and optimized meta descriptions and title tags
- A site that is optimized for viewing on a mobile device
- Content that is prominently displayed with no obstructing ads or interstitials
Content SEO, by contrast, is precisely what it sounds like: creating optimized content for your website that search engines — and users — need and enjoy. This includes:
- Focusing on using the right keyword phrases users are searching for
- Effectively addressing user questions by determining their search intent
- Ensuring your site consists of a variety of content types to engage visitors
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Focusing on technical and content SEO helps them create an excellent user experience.
As a result, the search engine is more likely to rank your website higher when they know you share that goal.
2. You Need A Comprehensive Keyword Strategy
In Google’s early days, finding keywords to focus on was easy.
All you had to do was use the Google Keyword Search Tool to type in a word or a phrase your audience might be searching for and include that with the highest number of searches as many times as humanly possible in your website content.
Keyword searches have recently become incredibly personalized, with Google pulling information from multiple resources to deliver answers based on your location, past searches, and even your social media activity.
Google has also moved to make searches more secure. Furthermore, website owners have lost the ability to see which search terms are sending the most visitors to their site so they can reverse-engineer their content.
What does this mean for your keyword strategy? As web design and content quality become more of a factor in SEO, it’s time to focus more closely on relevant topics and their associated long-tail keywords and phrases.
Tools like Google Analytics and Moz help you analyze your most popular content.
You can use them to figure out which key phrases are associated with that content and to discover new content creation opportunities based on what you find.
3. Your Referring Domains Matter
Building backlinks — which are simply hyperlinks that connect two pages from different domains — has always been a vital part of an effective SEO strategy.
Backlinks show search engines that you’re not the only one who cares about your content. When others link to your content, it tells search engines that it is valuable and relevant.
However, backlinks aren’t the only way to boost your search engine rankings.
Referring domains, the individual websites your backlinks come from, are also essential.
According to Ahrefs, sites without referring domains simply do not receive organic traffic, and highly ranked sites have more referring domains than those at the bottom of the SERPs.
Before you go out of your way to get these coveted referring domains, you must understand that quality matters.
It is important to ensure that any websites linking to yours are authoritative and trustworthy, as these sites increase your rankings and help you avoid penalties.
In addition, remember to create helpful, high-quality content that people want to share. This makes it much easier to acquire good referring domains.
Building the Right SEO Strategy
Gone are the days of stuffing a piece of content with a popular keyword and pushing your website up the search engine rankings.
Search engine optimization is now a multi-faceted practice, and your approach must be the same.
By designing a quality website; creating and distributing helpful, relevant content; and engaging with your audience on multiple platforms, you can build a solid online presence that increases brand awareness and inspires trust in those who encounter your offers.